In an effort to broaden understanding of climate change and the capability for incorporating its issues into decision-making and policy development and implementation, the Federal University of Technology, Akure in collaboration with West African Science Service on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use Graduate Research Programme – West African Climate Science (WASCAL GRP-WACS, FUTA centre) and the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science of FUTA, embarked on a five-day training workshop on Climate Information for Adaptation and Policy Development.
The workshop, which drew participants from ministries, departments & agencies (MDAs), and university departments, is aimed at dealing with current topics on climate change causes, consequences, management and adaptation.
Specifically, the workshop is addressing issues of climate change: the science, causes and consequences; climate change projection, variability and extremes; climate change challenges, risks and opportunities; politics and economics of climate change; climate change mitigation; climate change: adaptation, policies and governance and climate change policy design and response.
Director, WASCAL GRP-WACS, Prof. Jerome Omotosho, in his welcome remarks at the opening session of the workshop on Tuesday, said there had been a lack of adequate information to stakeholders on climate change.
According to him, everyone talks about climate change but a lot of people do not really understand what it is all about.
He stressed that the workshop was organised to bring middle-level officers from MDAs and reach out to them on what climate change is all about, what brings it about and, importantly, what can we do.
“That is why we put this workshop together,” he said.
Director, Centre for Continuing Education, Dr. J.O Bashorun, said the environment is now threatened and human health and food scarcity is of concern to people even in the developed world.
Head of Meteorology and Climate Science Department, FUTA, Prof. Kehinde Ogunjobi, said the workshop is coming up in line with the new name of the department. He explained that, for the Third World countries, the issue is more of adaptation than mitigation.
He added that the workshop would help to collate ideas which will be useful for policy and decision makers in addressing climate change challenge.
While declaring the workshop open, Vice-Chancellor of FUTA, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, represented by his deputy, Prof. Tunde Arayela, noted that the world’s climate is changing and would continue to change, and that it has been postulated by scientists that, by the end of this century, global temperature will rise significantly by more than two degrees celsius.
He said such a level of warming and attendant changes in climate would have a severe impact on socio-economic development.
“There is now a growing shared understanding that the response to climate change can only be effective if it is linked with the broader array of policy and development.
“It is therefore obvious that the solution must involve multi-disciplinary research agenda with natural and social scientists working together to deliver sustainable strategies to combat this menace,” he added.
Daramola, who congratulated the WASCAL director, Head of Meteorology and Climate Science department and the Centre for Continuing Education on the eventful milestone, said the institution management’s expectation is that the workshop will identify challenges presented by climate change, project into future and expectations, and develop pragmatic approach for adaptation.
He urged participants, as scientists, to synergise with both local, national and international institutions to assist in stopping degradation of the only home of man through workshop of this nature and advocacy programmes.
“The linkages between climate change and the three pillars of sustainable development – environment, social, and economic – are strong and deserve in-depth, expert discussion. It is, therefore, my sincere hope that this workshop will also play a catalytic role in helping policy and decision makers acquire deep understanding of climate change and work hard to mitigate its effects,” he added.